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Tularosa (Kevin Kerney #1)

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  1,357 Ratings  ·  106 Reviews
An ex-chief of detectives in the Santa Fe Police Department, Kevin Kerney was shoved into early retirement by a wounded leg. When his ex-partner and the man responsible for this injuries asks him to locate his son, Kerney must track clues that lead deep into the histories of the region and, compellingly, into his own family's rancing past.
Published April 17th 1996 by W. W. Norton & Company
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,283)
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(Audiobook) A highly improbable plot involving an Kevin Kierney, an invalided sheriff's lieutenant. He is asked by his former partner to locate his son who has disappeared. The search leads Kierney to the White Sands military range and treks through the mountains, into Mexico, and a pile of artifacts worth millions from some old Civil War stuff.

The book has the classic plot: the wounded hero who becomes drawn into action because it’s the proper thing to do. Add the good-looking and competent gir
Becky ♡The Bookworm♡
This started out strong, with a missing loved one and an estranged friend asking our hero, Kevin Kerney, for help. When Andy explains his son (an ARMY solider and Kerney's godson) has gone A.W.O.L. under mysterious circumstances, Kerney agrees to take the case and heads for Las Cruces. I was immediately intrigued by Kerney, a former cop who was forced to retire early due to an on the job injury. He's a loner, tough as nails cowboy, with no immediate living family. We see pictures of his past...t ...more
Jan 14, 2015 Kevin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is in the excellent tradition of Men’s Fiction. I’m not being sarcastic, I’m being serious. We got the hero, the girl and “Mission Accomplished”

Men’s Fiction is a truly awesome category in the best tradition of virtually every great writer. It’s always a page turner. The protagonist (an “anti-hero”) reluctantly gets dragged into a mission/quest because “It’s. The. Right. Thing. To. Do.” . Usually the reader does not want to put it down because the action is intense and non-stop. Once
Darrell Delamaide
I love geography and this compelling mystery by Michael McGarrity is full of geography. The plot hinges on secrets held within the White Sands missile range and Tularosa Basin, which the redoubtable hero, Kevin Kerney, explores on horseback with his love interest, Army investigator Sara Bannon.

There are mountains, crevices, escarpments, gullies, petroglyphs, and caves with hidden treasure. There is heat and cold, and sunsets and sunrises. You are very close to nature in New Mexico and McGarrity
Carol Crigger
Jan 30, 2012 Carol Crigger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: New Mexico mystery fans
Kevin Kerney, Santa Fe Chief of Detectives, was wounded in the line-of-duty due to the dereliction by his partner, Navajo Terry Yazzi. Three years later, he’s still battling back from the wounds and from resentment toward his former partner. However, when Terry begs his help in finding his lost son whom the army says has gone AWOL, he agrees to look for the young man. Sammy, after all, is Kevin’s godson, too. The trail leads Kevin into mortal danger as he follows scant leads. Mostly, he finds a ...more
Santa Fe writer, picked up on my vacation there. Former cop Kevin Kerney investigates the disappearance of his soldier godson on the White Sands missile range. First half is a crisp procedural, second half turns into a wild B-movie script with fake hunchbacks, steroid-gulping assassins, and ruined buildings filled with scorpions. I'm guessing the series gets better later.
Aug 27, 2015 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, audio-book
Kevin Kerney is still recuperating from major injuries he received while on duty with the Santa Fe Police Dept. when he is asked by his former partner to look for the partner's son and Kerney's Godson.
The young man has been an exemplary member of the Army but has been missing for 6 weeks with no trace to be found.

What Kerney stumbles upon, along with Capt. Sarah Brannon, is a cache of Civil War Era, supplies that have been missing for over 100 years. And, someone wants this cache enough to kill
Thomas Gardner
A friend handed me this paperback, recommending it as similar to Hillerman. And he was right. It is VERY similar to Hillerman's genre fiction. Mysteries are fun. I don't expect anything Earth shatteringly brilliant from them, and if simple, page turning mysteries that don't make you think and follow a very basic formula are your thing, then you will enjoy this one. It has all of the familiar nuances and twists of Hillerman, and heck, while it ain't Dostoevsky, there ain't nothing wrong with that ...more
Mar 10, 2010 Katrin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was fun to see local place names in this book by M. McGarrity, but I thought the writing and plot were predictable and ho-hum. I've heard from friends that some of his later novels were better.

Oct 07, 2015 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#1 in the Kevin Kearney series. "Finalist 1997 Anthony Award for Best First Novel; Finalist 1997 Dilys Award"

Kevin Kerney series - Kevin Kerney is a bitter former Santa Fe detective forced into premature retirement after a botched stakeout left him with a permanently gimpy knee. When his ex-partner, Terry Yazzi, who botched the stakeout, asks Kerney to help find his son, Sammy, who is AWOL from the air force, Kerney reluctantly agrees. After discovering Sammy's body in the hills near the base wh
May 25, 2015 Benjamin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At least the second time I've read it. It's actually a three-star book, sort of an average private eye/police procedural featuring former Santa Fe Police detective Kevin Kerney. This was McGarrity's first book. I bumped it up to four stars because it's set in New Mexico, and McGarrity knows the land. Kerney is asked by an old friend to look into his son's disappearance (having gone AWOL from the Air Force base at White Sands Missile Range). The writing is okay, but there is one particularly affe ...more
The first of the Kevin Kerney series. It was an OK book. A little hard to follow. A bit far fetched.
Previous Review Summary
"Kevin Kerney is still recovering from the physical and psychic wounds that forced his retirement from the Santa Fe police force, when his former partner asks him to search for his son-Kerney's godson-who is AWOL from nearby White Sands Missile Range. At the top-secret base, Kerney forges an uneasy alliance with Captain Sara Brannon, an astute Army investigator. Together th
Kathy Davie
Jun 19, 2015 Kathy Davie rated it liked it
First in the Kevin Kerney mystery series revolving around a disabled cop outside Santa Fe, New Mexico.

My Take
This was an excellent story although the writing was rough around the edges and a bit raw, but I couldn't help but read on, desperate to find out the who, what, why, and how. It's a betrayal on a huge scale. The men you expect to have your back are more likely to stab it.

Oh brother, red tape, starched-up rules, and CYA left people hanging for too long. Makes ya wonder how anything ever ge
Kevin Kerney is approached by an old police acquaintance to help find the man's son who is missing. The man, Terry Yazzi, is not a friend of Kevin because he was responsible for the wound Kevin suffered in the apprehension where Yazzi was supposed to be Kevin's back-up but was involving himself with the alcohol he was a victim of

Because Yazzi's son, Sammy, was Kevin's God-son, Kevin took the case. Kevin also knew that dealing with military as a civilian would be skeptical, he went to a friend wh
Gloria Bernal
Jun 22, 2009 Gloria Bernal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book 1 of the Kevin Kerney series - based in the New Mexico area where the author is from. Those that liked Tony Hillerman's work will like McGarrity's. He knows his territory.

Kerney, a retired chief of detectives from Santa Fe, New Mexico is called in on a favor to find his missing Godson, a soldier believed gone AWOL near the White Sounds military base. Those close to him do not believe he could be. It has been 2 yrs since Kerney was forced to retire from an injury in a shooting that has left
Tom Ferguson
Mar 09, 2015 Tom Ferguson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sitting here in Santa Fe reading Tularosa is a real trip. I love the depictions of the mesas, arroyos, mountains, high desert and the Galisteo Basin. Kevin Kearney is one tough cowboy/cop/detective and I got wound up in his adventure. Tularosa was a fun read with lots of action, good characters, nice plot twists and wonderfully described New Mexican landscape. I'm heading back to the bookstore tomorrow to pick up another Michael McGarrity novel.
Jul 26, 2008 LeeAnne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
For me, the saving grace in this first book by Michael McGarrity is New Mexico. The author does a kickass job of describing New Mexico and plopping the reader in the middle of this gorgeous and quirky state. As far as the story goes, I couldn't help thinking that McGarrity was working to win a few bets from college buddies or something. While the writing is solid and the action is non-stop, there were enough twists in the book to cause permanent vertigo.

I think that McGarrity put way too much i
Brinn Colenda
Feb 22, 2013 Brinn Colenda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first venture into the world of Kevin Kearny. He is an ex-policeman who is deputized to investigate the disappearance of a soldier on the White Sands Missile range in southern New Mexico.

McGarrity knows his New Mexico, his police procedures, and his ranch terminology...his love of the land, ranching and the law seeps through his writing in every chapter. This is the first book in the series; McGarrity is developing his setting, characters, and plots. The Tularosa Mesa in southern New
I felt that this book (as others have noted, the first in a series) started out strong but lost steam in the plot as it went along, especially after a key turn in the plot was revealed partway through. By two-thirds of the way through, I was skipping entire pages involving characters and subplots that I just didn't really care about. As others have also noted, the very best thing about this book is the extremely vivid, very well described and realistic descriptions of New Mexico - it's clear tha ...more
Colin Slider
Oct 20, 2015 Colin Slider rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
couldn't finish this - got about half way thru (page 175 or so) - couldn't find any empathy with any of the characters, didn't develop any interest in what was going to happen. just another 'by the numbers' thriller with nothing to make it stand out from the thousands of other similar stuff out there
Emily Higgins
Jul 09, 2015 Emily Higgins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspence
A former partner of Kevin Kerney's asks Kevin to find the partner's son who is listed as AWOL from the Army. Kevin is no longer a policeman due to a line of duty related injury. Andy Baca makes Kevin a Lieutenant for a month to give credence to his investigation. Good story.
Aug 01, 2014 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
The first in a series set in New Mexico. A medically discharged Santa Fe police detective is asked to investigate the disappearance of his godson from an army base. Only a few believe he went AWOL. Some of the plot is fairly predictable but it was an enjoyable quick read. Lots of Southwestern nature descriptions.
Mary E. McKinney
Good it the beginning.

I liked the beginning of this book but found it confusing especially the parts in Mexico.Not sure I will read anymore of this authors books.This author has good reviews.Perhaps this one was not one of his best.
Carolyn (in SC) C234D
I read this over 11 years ago. Noted only that it was the first Kevin Kearney mystery, I enjoyed it, and looked forward to more in the series. (Not sure if I've read any more; guess I'll find out as I go through my old "book journals".) (Jan. 7, 2000)

I don't know if I read this twice or what, but I have found an entry in a book journal noting that I finished this on 11/13/09. I wrote: "a mystery about Kevin Kerney, a former Santa Fe policeman who had to ret
Jul 24, 2015 Corey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First Novel of NM author set in Tularosa Basin, White Sands, El Paso,
Las Cruces and the setting close to home made it more interesting than
the characters or plot.
Pamela Clark
Jun 30, 2015 Pamela Clark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read

Interesting history intertwined with an action packed mystery. I will read another, but I'd say this is a promising series.
Feb 08, 2016 LISA WALKER rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Just a nice read. No moral lessons great landscape and good visuals. Well written but don't expect the great Americans novel.
This was a vacation read that appealed to me because of its New Mexico setting. This mystery is quite hard hitting in places.
My first Michael McGarrity book. I couldn't put it down. Now I want to read another to see if it was a fluke or a new author to read all. :)
In my meanderings through various websites about mystery series, I came across someone praising this author and this series. Kevin, an ex-cop is asked to look for an AWOL soldier. His search leads him to a military base, where he and the hot female officer in charge find the AWOL guy dead and find themselves in the midst of a bunch of valuable artifacts. I felt the vast number of characters were thinly drawn – I found it hard to get through this book because I didn’t really care about any of the ...more
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With the publication of Tularosa in 1996, Michael McGarrity turned to writing full time. Many of his novels have been national best sellers. He holds a BA with distinction in psychology and a master's degree in clinical social work. As an undergraduate, he held a Ford Foundation Scholarship at the University of New Mexico. Additionally, he is an honor graduate of the New Mexico Law Enforcement Aca ...more
More about Michael McGarrity...

Other Books in the Series

Kevin Kerney (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Mexican Hat (Kevin Kerney, #2)
  • Serpent Gate (Kevin Kerney, #3)
  • Hermit's Peak (Kevin Kerney, #4)
  • The Judas Judge (Kevin Kerney, #5)
  • Under the Color of Law (Kevin Kerney, #6)
  • The Big Gamble (Kevin Kerney, #7)
  • Everyone Dies (Kevin Kerney, #8)
  • Slow Kill (Kevin Kerney, #9)
  • Nothing But Trouble (Kevin Kerney, #10)
  • Death Song (Kevin Kearney, #11)

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